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Setting Up Student Accommodations in Canvas

Instructors may receive requests from Student Accessibility Services to provide certain accommodations for students with disabilities. Often times, educational technology can help meet the needs of these accommodations. This help article provides guidance on how to use Canvas in setting up accommodations for individuals with disabilities.

Table of Contents

This article will address the following information:


How do I set different due dates/times for individual students on the same activity?

Differentiated assignments is a function within Canvas that allows you to set different due dates/times as well as availability dates for an individual student within the same activity assigned to the rest of the class. This can be done on assignments, quizzes, and graded discussions:

1. a. Assignments
1. b. Assignments - Extra time to (re)submit
2. Quizzes
3. Graded Discussions


How do I provide additional time and/or extra attempt for a quiz?

Extended time or extra attempts can easily be set on quizzes built within Canvas. This is done after the quiz is published, but before it is administered.

1. Providing Extended Time

Quiz availability dates still apply when moderating a quiz. If the "Until date" passes when students are taking the quiz with extended time, the quiz auto-submits even if the student's time extension has not expired.

2. Providing Extra Attempts

How do I allow a student to take a quiz earlier or later?

Students may need to take a quiz earlier or later than the rest of class. Quizzes built within Canvas can be made available to individual students outside the scheduled quiz time in two ways. One option allows instructors to set a different scheduled time, while the other simply unlocks the quiz to be taken at any time.

1. Setting a new scheduled time

When assigning a quiz to an individual student, set the availability date to a different date/time. This will make the quiz available for that individual at their newly scheduled time. This can be done for before, after, or during the originally scheduled time.

2. Unlock the quiz at any time

You can unlock a quiz under the moderate quiz page. This will override the existing availability date/time for the selected student and allow that individual to take the quiz at any time after the unlock option has been checked.

How do I create secure quizzes for private or lower-distraction spaces?

Quizzes taken at home or in private or lower-distraction spaces may still require secure testing. This can be done by using an integrated external tool in Canvas called Respondus Lockdown Browser. An Instructor simply needs to turn this on for the quiz in question, and students will be guided to take the quiz using a pre-installed, locked-down browser.

1. Instructor guide for Respondus Lockdown Browser
2. Student guide for Respondus Lockdown Browser

How do I provide two different formats (paper and online) of the same quiz?

Using Gradescope, you can grade both paper and online versions of the same quiz. Resources for Gradescope can be found here.


How do I create accessible files, pages, or other content?

While not necessarily an accommodation, creating content in an accessible way is an important part of making sure your course is inclusive. Both native and integrated tools within Canvas help instructors in creating accessible files, pages, and other content.

1. Blackboard Ally

Blackboard Ally provides a visual dial to indicate the accessibility score of a file, and provides helpful guides in how to improve the quality.

2. Alternative Formats

Alternative formats are generated and downloaded on demand by students.

3. Accessibility Checker

The Accessibility Checker is a tool within the rich content editor of Canvas that checks common accessibility errors within the editor.

Canvas Accessibility Resources

For more information about Yale's accessibility guidelines, please contact [email protected]. For general help, please contact [email protected].